Bristol man falsely accused of paedophilia killed and burned
Bajan Ebrahimi murdered after taking pictures of children 'damaging flowers outside his home'
A BRISTOL man falsely accused by neighbours of being a paedophile was beaten to death and his body set on fire, a court has heard.
Neighbours began spreading rumours about Bajan Ebrahimi, a disabled 44-year-old who lived alone, when he took pictures of children in the street outside his council flat in Brislington. In fact, The Times reports, he is thought to have been photographing youths damaging flowers outside his home as evidence to present to the police and council.
Ebrahimi was "besieged" in his flat by about 20 angry neighbours after one of them, 24-year-old Lee James, made false allegations about him. James, who attacked Ebrahimi at the flat, pleaded guilty to his murder at Bristol Crown Court on 3 October.
Another neighbour, 24-year-old Stephen Norley, allegedly helped drag Ebrahimi's body from the building where it was "doused with white spirit and set alight", the Times reports. Norley had previously admitted assisting an offender and both he and James are due to be sentenced on 28 November.
After the hearing, Avon and Somerset Police released a statement saying that Ebrahimi was not a paedophile and "no incriminating evidence had been found on his mobile phone or computer".
Ebrahimi was arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace on 11 July, after he was seen taking the photographs. He was released without charge the following day and was killed at his flat two days later.
One resident told the Times that immediately before his arrest, Ebrahimi's home was besieged by an angry crowd of neighbours. "Everyone came out and they were calling him a paedophile," the resident said. "It was very hostile. They wanted him moved out."
Another resident said: "Whoever started those rumours now has to live with that. He wasn't a paedophile and now he's dead. That's a hell of a conscience to have. He was always out there, he loved his flowers."
The Times says that after Ebrahimi's death, the case was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). In September, it confirmed that it had served three officers who dealt with Ebrahimi with gross misconduct notices after "information about their conduct" came to light. They were suspended by the force before being interviewed by the IPCC under criminal cautions."
An inspector, sergeant and constable who dealt with Mr Ebrahimi in custody on 12 July, none of whom has been suspended, were also served with notices of gross misconduct and have been interviewed," the Times reports.